Encyclia polybulbon

Posted on: 28th March 2011 | 1 Comment

A few months ago I was visiting friends in Florianópolis, a beautiful island in the south of Brazil, and I happened upon an orquidário in the south part of the island. Orquidário Açores {named for the region in which it is located} is run by a wonderful old man, Senhor Antônio. The nursery is located next to his residence, and does not have open business hours, he explained that it’s more of a hobby nursery. Sr. Antônio has a passion for growing Cattleya and Laelia and has won many prizes for his Cattleya nobilior.

While showing us around Sr. Antônio spotted a mountain of a plant, an Encyclia polybulbon. He reached down and broke off a section of pseudobulbs and handed it to me “Essa flor tem cheiro de mel,” {this flower smells like honey} he exclaimed and chuckled. He was not kidding, the potency of one single flower is unimaginable.

After arriving home I planted the little gift in a mixture of sphagnum moss and coconut fiber and it immediately settled in and took off growing.

Thank you Sr. Antônio for the hospitality and the lovely gift 🙂

Common Growth Conditions & Species Information

  • Light: Dappled to Partial Shade
  • Temperature: 58-85˚F / 15-29˚C {night average}
  • Bloom Season: Spring / Fall
  • Flower Size: 1 1/4″ / 3 cm
  • Fragrant: Yes {smells like honey}

Encyclia polybulbon is found in Central America from Mexico to Nicaragua and also on Jamaica and Cuba. It grows in humid mixed forests on oaks as a miniature epiphyte or lithophyte, at an altitude of 600-3200 meters. It is a cute dwarf species that likes a cool to hot environment with partial shade. Encyclia polybulbon has ovoid to narrowly ovoid, laterally compressed, yellow-green pseudobulbs with 1 to 3, elliptic-lanceolate to elliptic-ovate, retuse leaves. It blooms from fall to early spring on a single flowered, apical, 1/2″ to 1 1/5″ [1.25 to 3 cm] long inflorescence.

Sr. Antônio had his mountain of Encyclia polybulbon growing on an inverted terra cotta pot covered in sphagnum moss, but it can easily be grown mounted on coconut fiber, tree fern, cork or wood to accommodate the rambling nature of the plant.



One Response to “Encyclia polybulbon”

  1. Graham Larkham
    28th December 2016 @ 17:16 pm

    On your comments, i have just bought a piece at an Orchid Auction, a plant i had bee seeking some time. it was mounted on a web basket meshing filled with coarse bark. The does not seem happy and so, yesterday I remounted it o a piece of rough bark. Reading your article, I will undo the mount and sphagnum moss under the plant and remount it. i have seen this plant adapt to tree fern quite well.

    Again thank you for the information Happy New Year

    Graham, Sydney New South Wales Australia

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